October 30, 2014 – Clinical Insight


Anchor lead:  Big data from electronic medical records may help medical trials, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Clinical trials are the gold standard by which much of medicine moves forward, but they’re expensive and often take years to complete.  Electronic medical records promise to step into the breach and facilitate answering many such questions, one of the reasons they were mandated under healthcare reform.  Dan Ford, Vice Dean of Clinical Investigation at Johns Hopkins, says we should see benefits soon.

Ford: I think you’re going to start seeing sorting out of patient subgroups by looking at these that say, patients with these lab tests, these symptom clusters are going to have a much worse outcome or a better outcome than others.  This is the drug or treatment that seems to be most appropriate.  You will have the ability to test more treatments for lower cost, which hopefully means they’ll be more randomized clinical trials.    :32

Ford hopes rare side effects of drugs or treatments will also be much easier to spot.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.